Interview with the Conductor of the St. Petersburg Opera Maxim Valkov
— You are young, and you already have a wonderful career. Did you know from childhood that you would be a conductor?
— No, I did not know that I would be a conductor, but I definitely wanted to be a musician. After all, it is not about the instrument, but the way to play and express oneself with it.
— You have been working at the St. Petersburg Opera theatre for 10 years. Tell us about theatre’s soloists and ensemble.
— I think that any theatre is a large creative family with complex relationships inside, and our theatre is no exception. Although our communication is very democratic, perhaps sometimes too much, there are fewer ambiguities and understatements. The theatre staff is young: many get their first experience. At the same time, complex stage tasks are set before the soloists. There are many details since it is a chamber theatre, it is impossible to hide behind someone or something. Whether you are a soloist or an artist of a choir, an orchestra member - it depends on everyone what the performance will turn out to be.
— How do you assess cooperation with the theatre director and artistic director of the theatre Yuri Alexandrov?
— This is my first experience working with a professional theatre. Yuri Alexandrov is the first theatre director in my practice. It is very important for me that Yuri Alexandrov is a director with a musical education. When we work on productions, we can agree or disagree with his ideas, but I know for sure that he primarily relies on musical material, for which I am very grateful to him. We had a very difficult work on the opera Esmeralda by A. Dargomyzhsky. The work is very uneven: a test of the pen of a young composer. But we absolutely coincided in understanding the characters, drama, and the performance, it seems to me, turned out well.
— What concert program did you present to the Serbian audience?
— We brought our best soloists to Belgrade. Each of them had their own colorful number. We presented a real opera gala with wonderful voices. We performed well-known numbers from operas, such as Toreador Song from the opera Carmen by G. Bizet, Song of the Duke from the opera Rigoletto by G. Verdi, etc.
— Esmeralda is an opera created earlier than Rusalka. What makes it special in Dargomyzhsky's work? Did the Serbian public hear this opera for the first time?
— The audience of the Serbian capital heard this work for the first time. Many people even come to our theatre and get acquainted with this work for the first time. Although I consider this opera a significant stage in the development of the opera genre in Russia.